change your life in thirty days...Holy Spirit edition

forget magazines, weight-loss or healthy living or good relationships or self-help or motivation.

Our God is greater!

At the beginning of senior year, I thought through some things I wanted to accomplish before I went to college. One of these was to read through the entire Bible. This is a long story, but I'll make it short because I have forty chapters to read before I go to bed. :)

On Sunday, that goal "randomly" entered my thoughts. It was God. I checked the calendar and realized that in exactly thirty days, I'd be starting college.

God even knows I have a thing for nice even numbers :)

So I divided up the chapters and realized I'd be reading forty a day, without missing any days, if I were to finish on time. And I am.

God laid this on my heart, and He's going to do it in me. I could say it was me, since I'm doing the reading. But it is He who's given us His Word. It is He who's given us eyes to see and a heart to understand. It is He who laid this goal on my heart in the first place, and it is He who brought it to mind again at exactly the right moment. It is He who's growing me in maturity since the last attempt to push through the Bible and it is He who's graciously shown me how to succeed, this time. I'm reading in order so I don't subconsciously save the less interesting books for last. Although when you're reading forty chapters a day, Leviticus and Numbers aren't so formidable. They end quickly. :)

It is He who gives me the strength to do this. It is He who put this stubbornness in me to succeed this time. It is He who reminds me, and it is He who helps me.

I could say it's me, but that wouldn't be true at all. I just listen and trust and obey.

And it is He who gives me joy.

I'll post the books as I finish them.

One of my favorite stories in Genesis is that of Joseph. Everything seemed to go wrong for him: his brothers hated him, they sold him into slavery, he was unjustly framed by his employer's wife and imprisoned. And then forgotten.
What commands my attention is his constant acknowledgement of God. I circled every time in my Bible, and there are eighteen circles between ch. 40-50. Joseph continually directs the attention, the praise, the glory to God and away from himself. And God gave him favor, and people recognized it. "And Pharaoh said to his servants, 'Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?'" (Gen. 41:38)
It's humbling to see Joseph's constant acknowledging of God's supremacy and his own smallness. So often I don't even think about how little I do is really up to me. It could be tempting to say, at the end of the thirty days, that I just pushed really hard and stuck with it and never gave up, and that's how I managed to read through the whole Bible in thirty days. But that wouldn't be true at all, because when all is said and done, I only chose to obey. And God worked this in me.

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